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2017 Toyota RAV4 Review

The 2017 Toyota RAV4 has a spacious and comfortable interior, a smooth ride, great safety ratings, and plenty of features. However, tepid engine performance and lukewarm reviews from critics lead to its mid-pack ranking among compact SUVs.

Pros & Cons

  • Loads of standard features
  • Roomy seating and cargo space
  • Comfortable ride
  • Some low-quality interior plastics
  • Tepid acceleration

Rankings & Research

The 2017 Toyota RAV4's #12 ranking is based on its score within the 2017 Affordable Compact SUVs category. Currently the Toyota RAV4 has a score of 7.7 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 41 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 7.7
Performance: 7.4
Interior: 7.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.7
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 Toyota RAV4 Overview

Is the 2017 Toyota RAV4 a Good Used SUV?

The 2017 RAV4 is a good option among used compact SUVs. It is just as capable at seating five passengers as it is hauling loads of gear. The RAV4 also has a stellar predicted reliability rating, a comfortable ride, and plenty of standard safety features like forward collision warning. That said, the RAV4 is no longer a standout in its class. Before deciding on this Toyota, consider top-rated alternatives like the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5, which offer higher-quality interiors and zippier engines. We review the 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid separately.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 41 Toyota RAV4 reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost-of-ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2017 Toyota RAV4?

You can expect to pay between $19,000 and $29,200 for a used 2017 RAV4. These figures are based on over 1,800 listings for the 2017 Toyota RAV4 on our site. The average price is $23,000. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2017 Toyota RAV4 Cost to Own?

The RAV4’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be $22,300 – or about $4,450 per year. That’s lower than the average price for the compact SUV class.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New RAV4?

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 starts at $24,660. You can save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used RAV4, especially if you want a base model with few options. Stick with a used model, and you won’t miss much. Changes for 2018 include a new Adventure trim level with a slightly higher ride height and updated exterior styling. However, those modifications aren’t enough to differentiate the 2018 model from the very similar 2017 model.

Read about the new Toyota RAV4 »

You can save money while still buying a new SUV. The 2018 Honda HR-V starts at just $19,670, and it emulates the RAV4’s best attributes, but in a smaller package. The HR-V offers roomy seating in both rows, a large cargo bay, and carlike handling.

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Toyota RAV4?

J.D. Power gives the 2017 RAV4 a predicted reliability rating of three out five, which is average.

Read more about RAV4 reliability »

2017 Toyota RAV4 Recalls

At the time of this writing, there is one recall for the 2017 RAV4. Toyota is recalling about 400 RAV4 models because the spare tire located in these vehicles might be underinflated. Be sure a Toyota dealer has checked the model you’re looking at for any necessary recall repairs.

See more information on Toyota RAV4 safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Toyota RAV4 Is Best?

The 2017 Toyota RAV4 is part of a generation that launch in 2013. These models all share the same engine, transmission, and overall dimensions – making them all fine picks for used SUV shoppers. The big differences come down to styling and features. The exterior styling of the 2013 to 2015 models is more sedate compared to the later 2016 to 2017 models. More importantly, a number of safety features became standard on all 2017 models, including forward collision warning with brake assist and adaptive cruise control. These features were optional for 2016, but not offered in models from 2013 to 2015.

An all-new RAV4 arrives for the 2019 model year, and it adds Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa functionality, sportier exterior styling, and road sign detection.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 RAV4 »

Which Used Toyota RAV4 Model Is Right for Me?

Toyota offers the 2017 RAV4 in five trim levels: LE, XLE, SE, Limited, and Platinum. The base model Toyota RAV4 LE is exceptionally well-equipped. Standard features include a 6.1-inch touch screen, rearview camera, Bluetooth, USB and aux ports, a CD player, air conditioning, cruise control, cloth upholstery, and remote keyless entry. The RAV4 also comes standard with the Toyota Safety Sense P package, which includes forward collision warning with brake assist, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control.

That may cover all your needs for a compact SUV, but the higher trim levels offer even more. The Toyota RAV4 XLE trim adds dual-zone climate control, a moonroof, satellite radio, Siri Eyes Free, and alloy wheels. The SE trim gives you blind spot monitoring, heated front seats, leatherette upholstery, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, and a power liftgate. The Limited trim offers a navigation system, a larger 7-inch touch screen, and parking sensors. Lastly, the Platinum trim comes with a heated steering wheel, a 360-degree parking camera, a hands-free liftgate, and a JBL sound system.

See 2017 Toyota RAV4 trims and specs »

What Does Toyota's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Toyota offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 85,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Toyota provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty on all its certified pre-owned vehicles, and it extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the initial sale date or 100,000 miles. Each CPO Toyota must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like a CarFax vehicle history report, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Toyota warranty page carefully.

Toyota’s CPO program is about average for an affordable carmaker, according to our research. Mazda, Hyundai, and Honda all have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the RAV4?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the RAV4 a rating of five out of five stars for side impact safety, as well as four stars for front and rollover crash safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the RAV4 a 2017 Top Safety Pick+, the agency’s highest accolade. It received the lowest rating of Poor for passenger-side small overlap front crash safety, but the highest rating of Good in all other areas tested.

Toyota equips all 2017 RAV4 models with its Safety Sense P package. These standard safety features include the Pre-Collision System (forward collision warning with brake assist), lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beam headlights. A rearview camera is also standard. Available features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a 360-degree parking camera, and parking sensors.

See RAV4 safety scores »

2017 Toyota RAV4 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Toyota RAV4 or 2017 Ford Escape?

The 2017 Ford Escape tops the RAV4 when you consider the comfort aspects that affect your day-to-day drive. The Escape is fun to drive, though it still provides a smooth ride over bumps. It also offers stronger engines that provide quicker acceleration. Finally, the Escape is available with the popular Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Neither is offered in the 2017 RAV4. That’s not to say the Escape is the better buy, though. The RAV4 has far more standard features like a touch screen, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning. You may have to search extensively for a used Escape model with the features you want. Ultimately, both SUVs are fine options in this class.

Which Is Better: 2017 Toyota RAV4 or 2017 Subaru Forester?

The 2017 Subaru Forester has a similar appeal to the RAV4. The Forester has loads of rear-seat and cargo space, a comfortable ride, and – for better or worse – cabin materials that are decidedly more durable than fashionable. Notably, the Forester comes standard with all-wheel drive. It’s also available with a muscular turbocharged engine that provides quicker acceleration than its Toyota rival. However, the Forester has fewer standard safety features, and its infotainment system isn’t particularly user-friendly. It also has a below-average predicted reliability rating. Both are fine options, but the RAV4 is the better buy.

Compare the RAV4, Escape, and Forester »

2017 RAV4 Performance

How Does the 2017 Toyota RAV4 Drive?

The 2017 RAV4 has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 176 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard, and all-wheel drive is available. The engine is powerful enough to scoot around town and accelerate to highway speeds without fuss. Add a full complement of passengers and cargo, however, and the SUV begins to feel short on muscle in stop-and-go city driving.

The RAV4 isn’t the most athletic vehicle in its class, but it is pleasant to drive. Its suspension keeps the SUV steady when rounding turns, yet it still soaks up bumps and dips in the road with confidence. The RAV4’s steering is responsive, and a tight turning radius makes it easy to park.

Does the 2017 Toyota RAV4 Get Good Gas Mileage?

The RAV4 gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, which is average by class standards. Adding all-wheel drive drops this rating slightly to 22/28 mpg.

Consider the RAV4 Hybrid (reviewed separately) if you’re looking for higher fuel economy. It delivers an excellent 34/30 mpg.

2017 Toyota RAV4 Towing Capacity

The RAV4 is rated to tow up to 1,500 pounds when properly equipped.

Read more about RAV4 performance »

2017 RAV4 Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 RAV4 Seat?

The Toyota RAV4 is a 2-row SUV with five seats. The front seats are soft and supportive, and the driving position is nice thanks in part to the steering wheel’s generous tilt and telescoping adjustments. There’s also ample head- and legroom for adults in both rows. Cloth upholstery is standard; heated and leatherette seats are available. The RAV4’s interior features soft-touch surfaces in key areas on the dashboard. Look beyond these panels, however, and you will find some rather hard and cheap-feeling plastics.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Toyota RAV4?

The RAV4 has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats. These anchors are pretty easy to access in models equipped with cloth upholstery, but they can be tougher to find on models with the available SofTex leatherette upholstery.

2017 Toyota RAV4 Features

The 2017 RAV4 comes standard with a 6.1-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary ports, a CD player, and a rearview camera. The touch screen reacts quickly to inputs and has straightforward menus. The climate and audio functions are still accessible using buttons and knobs, located next to the screen, which makes the system very easy to use overall. Available features include a navigation system, a larger 7-inch touch screen, the Entune app suite (Pandora, iHeartRadio, Yelp, and more), and Siri Eyes Free, which integrates an iPhone’s music, contacts, and navigation functions with the in-car infotainment.

See 2017 Toyota RAV4 specs »

Read more about RAV4 interior »

2017 Toyota RAV4 Dimensions

Toyota RAV4 Cargo Space

The RAV4 has 38.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats, and 73.4 cubic feet with these seats folded. Those are very large dimensions for a compact SUV. A power tailgate comes standard on SE and Limited models. RAV4 Platinum models have a foot-activated power tailgate.

2017 RAV4 Length and Weight

The Toyota RAV4 is 15.3 feet long. Its curb weight ranges between 3,455 and 3,630 pounds, depending on the drivetrain.

Where Was the 2017 Toyota RAV4 Built?

The 2017 Toyota RAV4 was built in Canada.

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